Dry needling is a form of physical therapy used to treat musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. It is an invasive form of myofascial release in which thin, flexible needles are inserted into the body. The areas where the needles are placed in the body is determined by accurate anatomical knowledge based on sound scientific reasoning within a biomedical paradigm.  This is different to acupuncture, which is a treatment technique related to Chinese Medicine, and takes a philosophical rather than empirical approach to the body.

What is Dry Needling? -

For which conditions can Dry Needling be used?

Dry needling can be used to treat many musculoskeletal conditions. 

It is very important to realise that using the technique outside of a balanced, professionally designed treatment regime that includes therapeutic exercise, manual therapy and patient education is not recommended.  That said, the technique is effective in treating back and neck pain, muscle strains, tight and painful scars, headaches, shoulder pain, and a myriad of other problems related to the muscles, pain and how the body copes with these.

What is Dry Needling? -
What is Dry Needling? -

What are the Side Effects of Dry Needling?

There are relatively few side effects, which is one of the great advantages of this effective therapy.  The more common ones include discomfort from the needling procedure, bruising, and occasionally a very small amount of bleeding.  Less commonly, patients may experience transient feelings of drowsiness, euphoria, tearfulness, sweating or chills

What is Dry Needling? -

How Does Dry Needling Work?

Dry needling works in at least 3 different ways depending on what you do with the needle.

  1. Feel good hormones
  2. Muscle relaxation
  3. Alignment & balance

Feel Good Hormones

Firstly, the simple insertion of a needle and the subsequent stimulation of the needle gives you a rush of natural painkillers called opioids, and a feel good hormone called serotonin.  These actively reduce your pain, and this enables you to exercise more effectively. 

Muscle Relaxation

Secondly, using a needle to stimulate a trigger point in a muscle frees the muscle up to work more efficiently by causing it to twitch and release.  This helps the local muscle to both contract and lengthen better, and will allow you to have more power and better flexibility in the muscle.  This also reduces local muscle pain. 

Alignment & Balance

Thirdly, by using a combination of needles in different parts of the biomechanical system, your therapist can help you align and balance out your movement patterns as a whole. 

If you’re a horse rider and you’d like more detailed stretching guidance, download my free PDF 

Grab My Stretching Do's & Don't's Downloadable PDF

Proper stretching practices correct a horse’s balance and reduces tension across it’s muscles and joints.This guide will teach you how to properly prepare yourself and your horse for implementing an effective and safe habit of daily stretching. Apply what you learn and enjoy a lifetime of joy and performance with your active, healthy & happy horse.

More From This Category

What is Dry Needling? -

Sandy Shore-Zingdi’s Poem

As important as it is for riders to have a strong yet supple body, so does it apply to our horses. Here are a few simple massage techniques to apply to your horse’s body in helping him maintain his suppleness. Remember these techniques are home advise only and do not serve as a replacement for professional work from a qualified practitioner.

read more
What is Dry Needling? -

Peace of Mind for you and your Animals this Holiday

After a challenging year, you deserve to rest, and you should utilise the time for soul replenishment and family connection. To better this experience, ensure that the stresses at home are well managed. One thing you do not need to be anxious or guilty about this...

read more



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Select your currency
ZAR South African rand